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A project with merit

Posted: June 19, 2013 - 12:02am

While Scouting has long held a reputation for outdoor self reliance, it also has taught generations the values of citizenship.

Jonathan Francisco has learned that lesson and put it into action.

The Greenbrier High student, who will be a junior this fall, said he wanted his Eagle Scout project to have an impact.

It certainly did.

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, is seeking funding to take Francisco’s water-safety project to another level.

The effort began when Francisco was looking for an Eagle Scout project. He met with Rene Hopkins, Safe Kids Greater Augusta coordinator, and she told him about the high incidences of drowning in the Augusta area, especially among children between the ages of 1 and 4 and teenagers.

Francisco took about 30 children between the ages of 5 and 9 who live in one of the areas managed by the Augusta Housing Authority and spent the day with them at the pool at the Tubman Family Y.

Using games and demonstrations, the workshop touched on a variety of topics such as the importance of the buddy system, floating techniques and simple swim strokes. Most of the participants didn’t know how to swim, Francisco said, and some were afraid of the water.

With that groundwork the Safe Kids program will build on what Francisco started, even adding a major component by providing life jackets to those who participate.

It’s a good idea, following up a good project that demonstrates active community citizenship.

Congratulations and admiration for all involved.

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